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5 Fun Facts About February 16 In New Mexico History

---Learn Every Day: NM Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history nm To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1680, the Pueblo Revolt began in New Mexico, as Native American tribes joined together to overthrow Spanish colonial rule. The revolt would last for over a decade and impact the region's history for centuries to come.

2. On February 16, 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate troops under General Henry H. Sibley attacked and captured the Union garrison at Fort Craig, New Mexico. The victory was short-lived, however, as Union forces under General James H. Carleton would later retake the fort and push Sibley's army out of the territory.

3. In 1914, the New Mexico Legislature designated the turquoise as the official state gemstone of New Mexico. The gemstone has long been associated with the Southwest and is still an important part of the state's culture and economy.

4. On February 16, 1948, the United States Air Force conducted a series of nuclear weapons tests at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range in southern New Mexico. The tests were part of Operation Sandstone and marked an important step forward in the country's atomic weapons program.

5. In 1979, the New Mexico State Penitentiary riot erupted on February 2 and continued until February 3. The riot, which was one of the deadliest in American history, resulted in the deaths of 33 inmates and the destruction of much of the prison. The events of the riot had a profound impact on the state's criminal justice system and are still debated and studied today.
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